Good morning, Camden Chatters.
The drought is over. For the first time since 1989, an Oriole has won the AL Rookie of the Year award. Gunnar Henderson was simply too good to be denied.
The 22-year-old O’s infielder was the unanimous winner among the 30 BBWAA voters after a sensational campaign in which he did everything well — get on base, hit for power, and play Gold Glove-caliber defense at two positions — while leading all rookies in Wins Above Replacement. Henderson, after a sluggish first two months, heated up in the summer months and emerged down the stretch as the best player on a talented, young, 101-win Orioles club.
Baseball’s preseason #1 prospect lived up to every bit of his hype. Going into 2023, Henderson was the odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year — and Camden Chat predicted it would happen — but in baseball you can never count on everything going as planned. Henderson could have gotten hurt or underperformed while a rookie on another team busted out. His early slump could have extended longer or necessitated a trip back to the minors. Any number of circumstances could have conspired to continue the Orioles’ ROY-less streak for another year. You only need to go back one season to find another should-have-been Orioles Rookie of the Year, Adley Rutschman, who didn’t win because of an ill-timed spring training injury.
And yet, Gunnar delivered, doing what no other O’s rookie in the last 34 years had been able to. For a team that has seen its fair share of much-ballyhooed prospects turn into pumpkins at the major league level, the Orioles found an instant superstar in Henderson. And now he’s got the hardware to prove it.
It’s all Gunnar, all the time, in today’s links.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Two former Orioles have Nov. 14 birthdays: shortstop Freddy Galvis (34) and right-hander Curt Schilling (57).
On this date in 1973, Orioles ace Jim Palmer won the first of his three career AL Cy Young awards, earning the honors after winning 22 games and leading the American League with a 2.40 ERA. Palmer garnered 14 of 24 first-place votes to beat out fellow Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Catfish Hunter, Bert Blyleven, and Gaylord Perry, among others. Palmer’s fantastic year also saw him finish as runner-up for AL MVP, which was won unanimously by Hall of Fame A’s outfielder Reggie Jackson.